Posts Tagged ‘nepotism’

Vanuatu Spy Tells All

The transcript of a secret recording of a recent meeting held behind closed doors within the halls of power has come into our possession.

We cannot reveal the details of our source but we have absolutely no doubt as to its authenticity. The recording has been vetted and analysed in high-security laboratories using the latest spy-ware technology including V.O.I.C.E technology (Vocal Origin Identification Cryptology Enhancement). Accordingly, the meeting’s members have been clearly identified and subsequently exposed here and now for their duplicity in a plot to crash the economy of a sovereign nation – Vanuatu. You will be shocked no doubt at the sheer audacity of these people as they scheme and plan what could prove to be the downfall of this small nation’s aspirations in becoming an economically self-sufficient entity on the world stage, free from the “big brothers” who would otherwise have them enslaved for all time. Here is the transcript of that meeting:

IAMA MORON: “Gentlemen, this meeting has been called to address a very serious situation within our local economy. Our research shows that too many businesses and individuals in Vanuatu are profitable or on the verge of being so and subsequently reducing the dependence of the nation on hand-outs from this country’s Aid Donors”.

HEESA MORON: “Hear, hear!”

IAMA MORON: “What is most disturbing about this development is that it stands to limit our own capacity to dip into this free pot of gold which means all of us here today stand to lose opportunities to increase our own personal wealth!”

HEESA MORON: “I agree!”

WOTTA MORON: “That’s outrageous! I’m planning to buy each of my kids a brand new Hilux in the New Year and what about my trip to Switzerland to meet with my bankers? We have to put a stop to this – now!”

HEESA MORON: “I agree!”

EMPEE MORON: “Gentlemen, gentlemen. Don’t worry. I think I have the perfect solution to this vexing issue that faces us. After all, remember why you rigged the ballots in the first place – so that I could help look after you, my friends. By the way, a big “Thank you” to you all for making sure that I got the land I desperately needed for my holiday home on Santo even though at four hectares it’s a bit smaller than what I wanted”

EESA MORON: “You’re welcome, Empee”

IAMA MORON: “So what’s this cunning plan you’ve come up with, Empee?”

WOTTA MORON: “Yeah, what’s the plan, Big Man?”

EMPEE MORON: “Well, as you all know, my brother’s cousin, Al Waysa Moron, is the Minister for Industry. Oh yes, he also sends his regards to you all for crossing the floor with him so that he could get this particular portfolio when it looked like it would go to Agud Bloak”.

HEESA MORON: “He’s welcome!”

EMPEE MORON: “Thank you. Anyway, I have already spoken with Al Waysa and he agrees that we should do something to stop this situation before it gets out of hand. So, here’s what we do. We create a situation whereby as many businesses as possible have to get a Permit to operate. We then make the application process as difficult as possible – I’m thinking of an Application that will take a couple of days to prepare and run to say 14 pages or so. Each business is then obliged to collect their form from Al Waysa’s Department. What we’ll do is tell the businesses of our plans on the Monday before Christmas and require them to have everything in place by the day after New Year’s Day”.

WOTTA MORON: “Yes! So far so good but I feel that something’s missing here, like – how do we benefit from this?”

HEESA MORON: “I agree!

EMPEE MORON: “Wait small – there’s more. We focus on the export companies and individuals by requiring them to pay Export Levies and we give my brother’s cousin the authority to charge these guys up to 40% – at his discretion. If they don’t like it, then too bad for them. If they don’t comply, we’ll fine them anything up to a million vatu and put them in jail for up to 12 months. See how they go trying to operate a business then! You can then lodge your own claims for a share of the levies via a Consultancy Fee from one of your family members’ Permit-exempt companies”.

HEESA MORON: “Hear, hear!”

IAMA MORON: “Not bad at all, Empee but I still think there’s something else we can do, don’t you?”

HEESA MORON: “I agree!”

EMPEE MORON: “Here’s the cruncher. We set the rules for these businesses every year which is when they must renew their Permits. If they don’t comply, again – too bad as we’ll make sure that they have no right of appeal and if they make too much noise or trouble, we’ll fine their asses, put ’em in jail and close up their businesses. So my friends, what do you say?”

HEESA MORON: “I agree!”

IAMA MORON: “Me too”

WOTTA MORON: “Me as well”

EMPEE MORON: “One final thing. We need a good, positive-sounding name for this process. I suggest we call it the “Industry Development Act“.

This is followed by hoots of laughter and a chorus of “I agree”, “Me too”, “Bravo”, “Well done” and finally – “Who’s up for a shell?”

“HAPPY NEW YEAR!”

 

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Corruption - The Silent Serial Killer

On every single day of the year someone dies as a result of CORRUPTION!

That’s right – every single day!

Sound far-fetched? Unfortunately, it’s not. Corruption is the direct cause of more human and other animal species deaths than anything that Mother Nature chooses to throw at us, be it fire, extreme heat or cold, floods, hurricanes, tsunamis, firestorms, earthquakes or volcanic eruptions or anything else imposed on the Earth’s inhabitants by the elements.

In addition to death, corruption is also responsible for more human misery than disease, famine and pestilence combined.

But corruption doesn’t stop there. This silent serial killer also counts among its victims the environment and particularly favours the oceans and forests and any other would-be pristine place – even the air that you, me, the rest of the world’s population, human and otherwise and all the different plant and aquatic species breathe in and depend upon for their very survival.

WHO is it then that wears the cloak of these man-made tragedies?

Is it you? Maybe; it depends who you the reader are and what your role within your own community happens to be. On one hand, you may not even be aware that you are part of the problem which, in itself is a travesty.

On the other hand, chances are that, if you are corrupt, you are fully aware of the fact and just don’t give a damn! Such an attitude is commonplace among those who are genuinely corrupt – as long as something serves their own self-interests, then the effects upon others of their actions and behaviour mean nothing to them.

So, WHAT is corruption?

Transparency International states that “CORRUPTION is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain”.

The World Bank defines it simply as the abuse of public office for private gain”.

You might think that there’s not much margin for error in these two definitions by such high-profile organizations, right?

Wrong! The real truth behind corruption and its survival or should I say exponential growth in this, the real world, is that corruption can and will only be allowed to carry on its dirty work WITH YOUR PERMISSION – tacit or otherwise.

If you turn a blind eye to corrupt practices of any magnitude or adopt an attitude of “I’m only one person and therefore can’t do anything to stop them” and/or “It doesn’t really affect me”, then in effect, you become as equally responsible as the perpetrators themselves for the consequences of such actions by others.

Perhaps you may be thinking at this point – “Well, that’s a bit harsh, isn’t it?” My response to that, very simply, is that perhaps it’s time for you to reach into your own heart and soul and give frank and real consideration to the planet-endemic problem of corruption and in particular, to what measures you can personally take to play your part in not just finding and understanding the solution but to actually being PART of the solution.

With that said, let’s investigate how corruption can affect you.  Putting another slant on it, let’s spend a little time for some selfish introspection, if you will.

For instance, are you a parent to one or more children? Or maybe you’re a devoted grandparent who also cares about the future welfare of these same children.

Imagine the following events then:

Scenario One

Your precious five year-old has a sudden attack of severe diarrhea and vomiting that won’t stop. You take your child to the local hospital for attention only to find out that the hospital has no IV fluid supplies because it has no money to buy them. In a very short space of time, the child, your child dies due to extreme dehydration causing its bodily functions to shut down. The Government official responsible for overseeing the finances of the hospital in the meantime, has fraudulently syphoned off the money and given it to his family, money that would have saved the life of your child. Round One to the silent serial killer due to CORRUPTION in the guise of FRAUD!

Scenario Two

Your sixteen year-old daughter is brutally bashed and raped. You are able to find out immediately who is responsible for this horrendous crime and taking your daughter to the hospital for treatment, you go to the Police to report the incident. The Police then do their duty in taking a statement from you and then from your daughter and promise you that prompt action will be taken to arrest the man. A day or so goes by and you become aware that the man concerned is still around. You then contact the Police again and enquire as to why this is so and following a series of delays, you are told that the file has been lost! You are rightfully angry and demand that action be taken to arrest this person. More days go by until you find out that the perpetrator is a family member of a high-ranking Government official and yes, you guessed it – the man is never charged and the matter subsequently never gets to Court. Your daughter is so emotionally traumatised by the whole incident that she commits suicide a short time later. Round Two to the silent serial killer – CORRUPTION by INJUSTICE!

Scenario Three

On another front – you are looking forward to the arrival of your parents and cousins from your home island as they are coming to help you celebrate your wedding. However, shortly after the ship leaves its port, it sinks with the loss of the lives of everybody on board. It happened because the ship’s Captain had bribed the Port officials to overlook the fact that the vessel carrying your family was not only unseaworthy at the time of leaving but was also grossly overloaded with passengers and cargo thereby making it doubly dangerous for travel. Round Three to the silent serial killer, this time – because of CORRUPTION through BRIBERY!

Scenario Four

In spite of the lack of educational facilities that have been available to you due to mismanagement of the funds that were meant to be allocated to the education  system, you have worked hard for many, many years with your wife’s support that was needed to help raise your family of three kids, your first-born now being sixteen. Just as you have funded your own way through university and now, at thirty five years of age, are the best-qualified person around in your particular chosen vocation, your son has decided to follow in your footsteps by going to university and getting a medical degree. To achieve this, however, he will need your financial support even though he topped his final year at school (his application for a scholarship was unsuccessful due to the fact that it was given to an undeserving child of a Government Minister instead).

To make matters even worse, a well-paid Public Service position becomes available that is perfectly suited to your special skills and qualifications and which, is duly advertised in  the local media. Naturally, you apply for the position but it turns out that the job is eventually given to the unqualified brother-in-law of the Department Head. You then have the unpleasant task of telling your son why you didn’t get the job and that the subsequent result being that you won’t be able send him to university to enable him to achieve his long-held ambition to become a physician. From that point on, your first-born, your pride and joy, becomes not only despondent but also turns to drugs and alcohol for solace and ultimately overdoses on home brew and tragically dies. Round Four to the silent serial killer, CORRUPTION in the form of NEPOTISM!

The above scenarios are just a fleeting sample of the types of corruptive influences that we are confronted with every day, so please don’t take on an attitude of “this can’t happen to me” because of where you live…or don’t!

Yes, I live in Vanuatu where such corruption crimes of this nature abound. However, take a good look around you if you live elsewhere. Look hard enough and you WILL find corruption at work – in the political arena (especially), in the public sector AND  in the private sector as well (with the conscious approval of the powers-that-be within both political circles and government bureaucracy).

On the upside, there is an ever-growing, determined force of individuals (including a small number of politicians and civil servants of integrity) and anti-corruption-specific organizations whose basic attitude is one of “We’ve had enough!” and who are working hard at making the world we live in a better place for everyone – a place where sustainable socio-economic development can take place while also ensuring that  important cultural traditions and the environment are preserved for future generations.

Local-to-Vanuatu NGO’s such as YACV (Youth Against Corruption Vanuatu), WACC (Women Against Crime and Corruption) and the Vanuatu Chapter of Transparency International, to name a few, are all active in the fight against corruption and as such deserve your active, ongoing support.

THE FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION must involve you as well – it’s in everyone’s interests that you do so…including yours!

Special Note: This article was first published in the Yumi Toktok Stret Newspaper on 24th December, 2014.

 Here we go again – another round of stupidity, greed and self-interest in play.

The Opposition is seeking a court order in what is said to be a Constitutional Case – the Speaker’s declaration of invalidity of the Opposition’s Motion of No Confidence in the Natuman Government. Radio Vanuatu announced in its Lunchtime News today that the motion deposited last Friday was to be the subject of such a case but no date for a court hearing was available. (Source – Vanuatu Daily Digest).

Political Clowns on Merry-Go-RoundIt will no doubt be said by some that my take on this is disrespectful. So be it but I ask this…

Disrespectful to whom?

  • To the long-suffering people of Vanuatu who see THEIR money being squandered in the interests of obtaining power at any cost and well, let’s face it – SELF INTEREST?
  • To those politicians who are doing the right thing in working for those who voted them into power?
  • To those very same politicians who are also working in the interests of all the people of Vanuatu rather than their own hip pockets?
  • To the people of Vanuatu who cannot get access to a decent health system or a viable justice system or education opportunities for their children because there’s no money left in the Government coffers as a result of politicians wasting funds made available to them?
  • To the economic benefit of Vanuatu when potential investors shy away from investing in this country because of the perceived and real political instability in the country?
  • To the business operators, Ni-Vanuatu and expatriates alike, who find it increasingly difficult to carry on business profitably in a climate of broken political promises, nepotism and cronyism?
  • To those who believe in the merits of Fidelity, Accountability, Integrity, Transparency and Honesty and as such expect the same from their elected Parliamentary Representatives?

 Of course not!

But then again, it is well nigh impossible to hold any RESPECT for the merry-go-round pollies who seemingly don’t give a damn.

In July, I praised the Hon. PM Joe Natuman for his stance on disloyal MP’s (read my “A Breath of Fresh Air” post). I would like to think that he has the strength to continue along the same lines. It is called “Leadership” – something sadly lacking in this country!

Blind Freddie Award

Nominations are now open for our inaugural “BLIND FREDDIE AWARD”

We think it’s appropriate to add a bit of light-hearted spice to a serious topic currently in the news – CORRUPTION in POLITICS, Political Parties, Politicians, Political Supporters and Political Commentators (the latter including all news and social media contributors).

So – “where does the term “Blind Freddie” come from”, you may well ask.

There are a number of theories on this but the general consensus of opinion is that it came about in the early 1900’s, based on a real-life character – a hawker in Sydney, Australia.

The commonly-accepted use of “Blind Freddie” is for an imaginary person supposed to have little or no perception and representing the highest degree of incompetence, especially in the phrase – “Blind Freddie could see that!”

For a “Blind Freddie Award” nomination to be accepted by the Adjudicator (us!), the potential Awardee must be shown to either….

Be blissfully unaware of the meaning of and/or be a supporter of and/or be knowingly involved in Corruption/Corruptive Practices including any of the following:

  • Nepotism
  • Cronyism
  • Lack of Integrity
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Behaviour Demeaning his/her Office or Position
  • Leadership Code Breach
  • Unethical Behaviour

To get the ball rolling, we have already included some potential Award “Winners”.

The eventual Winners will be announced on 1st May, 2014.

This is a plea to the Hon. PM. Moana Carcassesfor the welfare of all who live in and/or love Vanuatu.

It is also a plea in the interests of:

  • Good Governance
  • Leadership Integrity
  • Transparency
  • Accountability and
  • Justice

Paul Telukluk - Minister of Internal AffairsI am referring to the easily-recognizable politically-expedient appointment of Paul Barthemely Telukluk as the Minister of Internal Affairs.

Please note that I have not and shall not refer to this person as Honourable as only persons deserving of this title should be referred to as such and humbly suggest that the following supports this…..

FACTS and BACKGROUND

As quoted by the Vanuatu Government website –

“The Ministry of Internal Affairs responsible for implementation of the major and most essential policies relating to the internal administration of the entire nation. This Ministry is a crucial department as it services the entire population starts from Torba in the far north to Tafea Province in the far south that needs to be implemented by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Nine departments are under the authority of the Ministry in ensuring that the following policies are implemented in terms of decentralisation, internal security and border control management and the national services. The nine departments Corporate Services Division (CSD), Department of Local Authorities (DLA), National Disaster Management (NDMO), Vanuatu Police Force (VPF), Department of Immigration, Department of Labour and Employment Services (DoL), Electoral Office, Passport Office and Civil Status.

The Ministry is also responsible for some constitutional and statuary bodies like the Electoral Commission, Minimum Wages Board, Labour Advisory Board, National Housing Corporation, National Cultural, Provincial Councils and Municipal Councils.”

Bearing this in mind, it can be reasonably argued that this Ministry is THE most important in the land. And yet…….here’s just a little history and expose of the person now in charge of such an important post…….

“In the mid-1990s, Telukluk served as Minister for Lands in Prime Minister Maxime Carlot Korman‘s government. Later, he was investigated by the Ombudsman‘s office, which in 1999 published a report accusing him of having mismanaged the sale of deportees’ properties. The report recommended that Telukluk “should not be considered for a ministerial portfolio in any future Government” (Wikipedia);

“OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN

PUBLIC REPORT ON THE GRANTING OF LEASES BY THE FORMER MINISTER OF LANDS MR PAUL BARTHELEMY TELUKLUK TO HIMSELF, FAMILY MEMBERS AND WANTOKS

PREAMBLE

This yet again we are confronted by evidence of leaders conspiring to defraud not only private individuals but the public by carefully plotting to increase their own personal wealth and assets by systematically pursuing dishonest courses of action and by misusing their public official positions to break the law, enrich themselves and to defraud others of their rights.

SUMMARY

Public Report is about how 15 land titles were improperly allocated by the Former Minister of Lands and now Minister of Ni-Vanuatu Business Mr. Paul Barthelemy Telukluk to himself, Members of his Family and wantoks (people of his island community). This report highlights the need for a proper policy governing the lease of Government Lands and Customary lands to ensure that they are done according to constitutional rights and Leadership Code obligations, and that actual market values are used.

The Ombudsman decided to investigate into this distribution of titles following several complaints lodged by members of the public. These complainants, having been allocated a block of land by the Department of Lands, had seen their land then given by Minister of Land Telukluk to members of his family or wantoks before the full process was finalised.

As Minister of Lands between 1992 and 1996, Mr. Telukluk had the legal power to sign land leases on behalf of the government, for public lands and lands under the management or control of the government. This also gave Mr. Telukluk the ultimate power to approve or determine the premium charged for leases.

During his term, Mr. Telukluk assigned 15 titles to himself, members of his family and wantoks.

The Ombudsman found that Mr. Telukluk’s conduct was unjust and contrary to Art. 5(1)(k) of the Constitution, because he gave himself and people close to him preferential treatment to obtain leases at cheap prices; other people of Vanuatu were not treated equally. With respect to 4 titles acquired for himself for free, the Ombudsman found this conduct to be misappropriation. The Ombudsman also found that Mr. Telukluk breached each and every section of the Leadership Code in the Constitution.

MR TELUKLUK’S USE OF HIS MINISTERIAL POWER TO GRANT LEASES TO HIMSELF, HIS FAMILY MEMBERS AND WANTOKS WAS ALSO CONTRARY TO ARTICLE 5 OF THE CONSTITUTION.

MR TELUKLUK BREACHED EACH AND EVERY SECTION OF THE LEADERSHIP CODE IN THE CONSTITUTION: CONFLICT OF INTEREST, UNFAIR EXERCISE OF OFFICIAL DUTIES, DEMEANING POSITION, LACK OF INTEGRITY, USE OF OFFICE FOR PERSONAL GAIN.” (www.paclii.org)

There are many, many more references to Paul Telukluk’s immoral and crooked dealings – way too many to cover here. And yet again….

He has now appointed a CONVICTED FRAUDSTER in the form of CLARENCE MARAE as his First Political Advisor (PA) and secondly, Wendy Myriam-Himford as another PA – a woman well-known as a religious zealot and self-appointed Apostle who once accused Hon. MP Ralph Regenvanu’s Graon Mo Jastis Pati as the “Satanik Pati”.

To all the Citizens and Residents of Vanuatu and those who have their cultural roots in this country – “Do you trust such a person to hold such an important position in the running of this wonderful nation?”

I certainly don’t and as such implore our Honourable Prime Minister, Moana Carcasses, to do the right thing and change this situation – before it’s too late.

FOOTNOTE: Telukluk was a co-founder of the Green Federation in 2000.

Vanuatu Government

Vanuatu Government

Shefa Provincial CouncilPort Vila Municipal Council

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vanuatu has been in a crisis for the past twenty years – a leadership crisis.

Respect - You Have to Earn It!The following just-published article by the Pacific Institute of Public Policy is worthy of some reflection on this issue.

“Vanuatu’s Leadership Struggle”

Whether you personally are motivated to do something, well…..that’s entirely up to you. I hope you are!

“MERRY CHRISTMAS!” everyone

Christmas Watcher

and be sure to be good boys and girls next year…

Throw the Book at 'em

Throw the Book at ’em!

FRAUD IS FRAUD – no matter who perpetrates it.

It has become quite clear, in both the eyes of the law and from a moral and ethical standpoint, that we have just witnessed another DESPERATE attempt by DESPERATE people to acquire the positions of power that they DESPERATELY want! I am of course referring to the case against The Speaker which, was concluded in The Speaker’s favour earlier today.

The Claimants in this instance should be held accountable for:

  • Abuse of their position of trust – MP’s supposedly acting in the best interests of their constituents and country at all times rather than themselves;
  • Their FRAUDULENT use of signatures;
  • The time and money they have wasted both of which could have been better used in supporting the Government’s attempts and measures to IMPROVE the state of well-being of the country’s people;
  • Breaches of the law and of the Leadership Code.

The question of course is – “Will justice prevail or will the ‘big men’ get away with it…again?”

cry-babySome things and of course, some people, never change.

This is especially evident in news media articles and social media commentary since the installation of the new Government here in Vanuatu. Particularly noticeable are the comments and statements from deposed previous government MP’s and their supporters as they continue to clutch at straws in the fond hope that they will get back into their lost positions of power and money-grabbing capacities.

These people should face reality: they lost and did so for all the right reasons.

The new government’s stated 100-day-Plan is just that – a 100-DAY-PLAN, not 30 or 60 or any other number. The time to fully assess the achievements or otherwise of the government’s stated objectives is at the end of 100 DAYS. Of course, it’s quite possible that some objectives will not be achieved within the stated time-frame but at least this government, unlike its predecessors, has had the guts to put itself on the line and continue to communicate with the people as to what they are doing and how they’re going about it.

Naturally, we should all continue to be watchful regarding the government and bureaucrat actions or lack thereof in the days and weeks that follow.

In the meantime, a message to the losers – why not try something completely different – stop your unnecessary, self-serving and counter-productive whinging, bitching and complaining. Suck it up baby and get on with it!

MP-Moana-Carcasses-SponsorshipMake no mistake about it – the new government has been handed a HUGE mess, a mess created by previous administrations. Nepotism, cronyism, stupidity, ignorance, theft and outright fraud have all taken their toll on the economy and the social fabric of Vanuatu society under these same administrations. In many, many instances it comes back to corruption – intentional raping of Vanuatu’s financial resources by those in positions of power in government and the public sector.

In fact, I believe strongly that the main reason for the fall of Sato Kilman’s government and their subsequent replacement by the team led by the new PM, Moana Carcasses, is the issue of corruption.

However, maybe now, for the first time ever in the history of Vanuatu, it can be said that a new government is there upon the back of its mandate to eliminate corruption. Emanating from this, of course, are two key questions – (a) Can they do it? and (b) Do they have the political will to do it?

So, let’s get back to the mess left for the new powers-that-be. Vanuatu is effectively bankrupt, in my view. The country is financially dependent upon the largesse of Aid donors. It has massive debts, very little export income and an enormous reliance on imported goods. The public service is overweight, no – obese with incompetent people, ineffectual systems and processes and a lack of work ethic. The public sector is waaaay too large and has a culture that encourages corruptive practices.

In an interview with MP Ralph Regenvanu, Radio NZ states “However, the new-look cabinet faces an unprecedented budget deficit, something the new Lands Minister Ralph Regenvanu admits is a huge problem.” Hell yes!

In the same article, the new Finance Minister, Willie Jimmy is reported to state that “he will seek assurances from heads of all public departments that they can achieve their budget targets”.

Well, for the sake of the economic health of Vanuatu and the new government’s attempts to fix things, I truly hope that MP Jimmy has been misquoted.

We do NOT want or need assurances that they can achieve their already-established budgets because most, if not all the Departmental budgetary considerations are likely to be based on false premises anyway.

What we DO want and need is a more pragmatic approach. MP Ralph has already stated the need to cut costs and unnecessary spending….and he’s correct. Simultaneously, the government’s export income and statutory revenue collection processes need to be investigated and improved as well. By this, I’m certainly not advocating that the new government continues down the same path as previous governments in their efforts to “kill the golden goose” – a.k.a. the ex-pat driven business community.

Oh yeah – and please, get some co-operative efficiency into areas such as the Immigration Department – another hopelessly inefficient, poorly-managed public SERVICE (“service” – what’s that, the PIO said?) that needs a swift kick in the bum!